This is the unfinished center medallion square of "The Good Earth," an original design to celebrate the 40th anniversary of my parents. This central square will measure between 28-30 inches and will anchor the rest of the quilt design.
More than half of these motifs have been hand appliqued to the background square, some are just prepped and glue basted, and 3 motifs are still in the drawing phase.
There are a lot of embroidery details that need to be added after all the hand applique stitching is finished and the piece is soaked to remove the glue. The embroidery will really make the designs pop and make them look more detailed and correct. My dad needs his glasses, birds need feet, fruit and veg need stems, some pieces need to be outlined, dogwood blossoms need centers, wheels need spokes, etc.
There are a lot of details in this square that sum up their love for each other and their love of the land. They are both physicians, which is why both of them are wearing stethoscopes around their necks.
They have improved or built almost every house they have lived in for the last 40 years, hence the hammer in my Dad's hand.
They have set out thousands of pine saplings and have a small catfish lake.
They have worked to protect the trees on their properties, and have planted a lot of young pines to go with the mighty oaks, other hardwoods, and the endogenous dogwoods that thrive in the north Alabama environment.
They have planted thousands of daffodil bulbs that bloom in February through early April every spring...just beautiful.
The fish...they need some embroidery details as well.
They have chickens for egg laying and used to have a beautiful peacock when they lived near the Birmingham Zoo (he was an escapee when I was in high school in he mid-1970's).
The chicken is roosting in a mighty oak.
I experimented with fussy-cutting a favorite Kaffe Fassett fabric for the peacock tail...he needs some embroidery details as well...like his lovely head feathers. He is sitting in a pink dogwood tree.
I will have a lot of French knots to do at the centers of all the dogwood blossoms.
My grandfather passed down his gardening skills to my Dad. Lately, they have been growing green beans, squash and collard greens.
There are lots of deer and other wildlife on the property.
They have fruit and nut trees, a muscadine arbor, and amazing blueberries. My Dad has all kinds of machines...tractors, off-road vehicles, earth-movers, but loves an old-fashioned push plow.
The muscadines (a kind of grape)...
The apples and blueberries...
Lee has an amazing green thumb and loves growing flowers and shrubs. She is constantly trying to outsmart the deer (who really appreciate all of her gardening efforts...).
The squirrels are welcome to all the acorns and hickory nuts they can carry, but stay away from the pecans, walnuts, and bird feeders!
This will be a bluebird of happiness at the top of the square carrying the banner and hearts.
It seems like a special anniversary...for all of us. They are celebrating 40 years, and we celebrated our 20th anniversary in October. They have set a beautiful example of a strong, productive and purposed-filled marriage for their seven kids.
Happy anniversary and I love you very much!